Social Worlds, Libraries, the Future and Beyond!

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Bible Ontology

I hold 2 degrees in theology. People often ask, "why?" The answer is a topic for another blog. But, I have acquired a taste for all things ancient.  Yes, I spend hours gaping at old papyri, medieval icons, and when I really want to go old I look in the mirror.

I do enjoy theology and religious studies. Google Books and the Internet Archive have been a "heaven sent" for me. I find something new that's old every time I search the public domain collection of books.

Recently, I discovered something new in my search for better tools in biblical studies. It is the Bible Ontology site found at The Ontology is modeled & maintained by Dr. Myungdae Cho and his daughter, Mira Cho of South Korea. Dr. Cho teaches in the Dept of Library and Information Science at SungKyunKwan University and is a lecturer at other universities, including Graduate School of Convergence Science and Technology, Seoul National University, Korea.

For those of us who are unfamiliar with this type of resource it is difficult at first to see what the results on any given search does.  However, working with the Ontology provides a truly new means of seeing the relationship between persons, places and concepts in the Bible. The Bible Ontology "aggregates all related meaningful data from all the sources in multiple resources, and displays them in the format of "Subject-Predicate-Object" format." (

Moses aggregate.

Doing a search for Moses provides a listing of related people, places and events. But it also returns results for ideas and things related to the in events, to roles assumed by Moses and related Bible verses. The values returned provide links that reveal further relationships, these linking to further relationships.

The Ontology Browser is a very powerful graphical tool that displays the relationships within the ontology in a visual manner. The relationship "spiders" are an excellent means to visualize how things are inter-connected. I will be spending more time examining the browse function, it is a great tool.

The potential of Bible Ontology as a tool for Biblical studies is large. Imagine this interacting with a critical edition of the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, Greek and Hebrew Lexicons, Bible Commentaries, Dictionaries and materials related to the ancient world, classical religions and philosophy.  Imagine a visualization of the Greek term "kenosis" from Philippians 2:7 spidering to classical and modern interpretations, sources from other religions and philosophies. The ability to visualize this would be of great help to the Biblical student.

Bible Ontology is well worth the time and effort to investigate to see the power of a semantic search tool and as a tool for Bible study. I will write more on this in the future.


Blogger Linked Library said...

Yes. As you suggested, the potential of Bible Ontology as a tool for Biblical studies is large. What I am doing at the moment is to create "WORK" concept in FRBR vocabularies. Say, WORKs related with Binding of Issac in the Bible are created
By the way, WORK means artistic and intellectual creations. Bob Dylon's Hignway 61 revisited could be a WORK related with this Biblical event.

Again, still there are a lot of things to be done. Please give me some useful advices. Thanks Mark. ^^

5:17 PM  

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